Today I got to watch a person who was showing physical signs of stress try to wave the company’s flag for a few hours.
I’ve written before how the company I work for likes to send observer’s at the worst possible times. Today our observer arrived and we were shocked by a couple things.
First, it was only one guy. Usually we get two visitors, one foreigner with no real authority and one Japanese with slightly more authority. I do not know if that means the school where I work only gave permission for one visitor or if this was a case of symbolism over usefulness. (i.e. I’m here to show the flag and pretend I’m here to critique these people who’ve been teaching almost as long as I’ve been alive.)
Second, the observer looked stressed and even had physical symptoms of stress. We do not know if this is because of the less than friendly greeting I gave them this time last year or if there are other things going on behind the scenes (or both). Either way, we usually treat the foreign observers well because they don’t have much more authority than we do so I don’t think it had anything to do with us.
Third, the observer only stayed a few hours. Mind you, this is not a problem as nothing cramps your style more than having “the man” hovering over you at all hours, but usually, to make the trip worth his time, the observer stays longer than a couple hours. The goal is to get a feel for working conditions. (Which got worse as some “genius” at the school decided to lock the air conditioners at a surprisingly warm level. This may have driven the observer away, too.)
Then again, I like to think the observer was scheduled to be there all day but decided to take the afternoon off.
I hope that’s what he was doing.